Actress Melody Patterson, Best Known for ‘F-Troop,’ has Died, aged 66


August 21, 2015 5:39 PM MST


Melody Patterson with Forrest Tucker, Larry Storch, and Ken Berry

Melody Patterson, an actress who did work in films and television, has died at the age of 66. According to reports, Ms. Patterson died August 20, 2015 at a nursing home after multiple organ failure.

Patterson was only 16 years old when she debuted in the role of Wrangler Jane on “F-Troop,” but she’d been acting since the age of 5. The Wrangler Jane character was said to be based on Doris Day’s portrayal of Calamity Jane in the 1953 movie co-starring Howard Keel. Patterson has stated that “Calamity Jane” was her favorite movie. As Wrangler Jane, Patterson lustily pursued Captain Parmenter, played by Ken Berry. A running gag on the program had Jane kissing Parmenter, who avoided her affection by stating, “Jane, please, not in front of the men!” Patterson got the role by telling producers she’d be 18 on her next birthday. They did not find out her real age until after seven episodes had aired and she’d already clicked with viewers.

After the cancellation of “F-Troop,” Patterson appeared on radio, on stage, in films, and on TV, including several episodes of television’s “Hawaii Five-O,” which featured her then husband James MacArthur. In her later years, she wrote a column for the magazine “Wildest Westerns” which dealt with western films and television series. She also enjoyed appearing at “F-Troop” reunion gatherings, signing autographs for fans.

Patterson’s death was first announced on Facebook by her personal friend Lee Day. She indicated that Ms. Patterson broke her back several years ago and never fully recovered. Melody’s passing was then announced by her former F-Troop co-star Larry Storch as well as other sources.



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